Ratan Tata-backed Niki.ai, which runs an artificial intelligence-powered personal assistant, has raised $2 million in a Series-A round of funding
from San Francisco-based fund SAP.iO and Unilazer Ventures.
The company also raised money from Haresh Chawla of private equity firm True North and Arihant Patni of Hive Technologies, it said in a statement on Wednesday. Software giant SAP launched SAP.iO with an initial investment of $35 million in March this year. The fund makes early-stage investments in software start-ups with an aim to expand the SAP ecosystem.
plans to use the money to strengthen its machine-learning capabilities, build voice and multilingual functionalities, and expand its distribution network, said Sachin Jaiswal, chief executive of Niki.ai.
was founded in April 2015 by four IIT Kharagpur alumni — Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, Nitin Babel and Shishir Modi. It provides users a conversational interface to shop for products and services. It currently covers over 20 categories, including entertainment, travel and daily utilities, with players like BookMyShow, Redbus, OYO, Ola and Uber. Niki, its bot, uses natural language processing and machine-learning technologies to converse with customers over a simple chat interface, and places their orders with partner businesses.